Misdemeanors and Felonies in Leesburg
In Loudoun County there are two types of criminal offenses: misdemeanors and felonies. Below, a Leesburg criminal defense attorney discusses these types of offenses and what you should expect if accused. For more specific information regarding your case, call and schedule a consultation today.
Difference Between Felonies and Misdemeanors
The main difference between felony and misdemeanor charges is that felonies are much more serious. Felonies are the product of English common law and codified in the Code of Virginia. The types of offenses that would be considered a felony include:
- Possession of Schedule I or II controlled substances
- Grand larceny
- Malicious wounding
- Unlawful wounding
- Burglary or serious criminal assault charges such as rape, aggravated sexual assaults, and murder
Misdemeanor offenses, on the other hand, are always less serious than felony offenses. Common misdemeanor offenses include driving under the influence, assault, possession of marijuana, petit larceny and destruction of property valued under $1000, and disorderly conduct.
What To Expect If Charged With a Misdemeanor
If you are charged with a misdemeanor in Leesburg, you should expect your case to be heard at the Loudoun County General District Court located at 18 East Market Street in Leesburg, Virginia. You should expect that you will either be given an 11:15 arraignment 10 days after the time of your arrest or you will be given an initial court date at 8:30, 10:00, or 1:30 in the Loudoun County General District Court.
What To Expect If Charged With a Felony
Depending on your felony, and whether it is after an arrest or after a direct indictment before a grand jury, you may have two different levels of expectations. If the felony comes after an arrest, which is the most common way to be charged with a felony, you should expect to have a date at the Loudoun County General District Court one week to 10 days after your arrest or within a week after your arrest.
At that time you will be asked to appear at the 11:15 arraignment docket. At that docket you will be asked only one question, which will be whether or not you wish to hire a private attorney or be considered for court appointed counsel.
After the counsel matter is decided, you will be given another date for a preliminary hearing. This is different for a misdemeanor in that the arraignment always occurs for felony offenses and only sometimes occurs for misdemeanor offenses. After the first arraignment, the cases are scheduled for a further date of hearing.
Preliminary Hearings For Felony Cases
Preliminary hearings are specific types of hearings that are only applied to felony offenses. They are probable cause hearings that determine whether there is a probable cause that a felony has been committed and that you were the one that committed the felony. Additionally, misdemeanor offenses in General District Court are different because they are adjudicatory matters, meaning guilt or innocence is determined during misdemeanor trial.